After two failed attempts at passing Nicet Level 1, I decided to take an online course.
I’m not here to plug some company’s content so, if that is what you were looking for, just go to Nicet’s website where you’ll find they have a list of companies offering training. However, most of the sites on that list are gone and the links don’t work and, on the first page or so, you will see some of their stuff is outdated. There is one company that seems to be up and functioning properly and has prices at a reasonable level.
Do it. Get training. If you have taken the Nicet test and just can’t pass it, or if you are a person who just sucks at taking tests, a course will get you going in the right direction. It is better to pay for the course than to pay for the test a bunch of times.
If you are the owner of a company, offer this for your employees. Don’t send an employee out there with a high probability of failing.
Now, back to it. Let’s get into the method I used to pass Nicet I Fire Alarm Test.
What I Did to Pass Nicet I
The key is to get good at looking things up in NFPA 72 and NFPA 70 – fast.
NFPA 72 2013, I headed straight to the Index and highlighted the start of each letter. Section A I highlighted that big bold letter A – all the way to the last page. I made sure to give smoke detectors and inspection section a dab too.
Any section in NFPA 72 2013 that talks about inspection or monitoring and any numbers that were related to time requirements, I highlighted the code number and the time stated. For example, in heat detectors (tabbed section) 126.96.36.199.1, I highlighted just the word “partitions” and the “15%”. Read that and understand why I highlighted that. Next ten codes have some numbers in them. I read each code three times until it sunk in. Each time I would highlight the number and any keyword that would remind me what that number was referencing; for example, 188.8.131.52.1.1 – the word “slope” and the note that says 30 degrees.
Also in NFPA 70 NEC 2011, I tabbed the 760 section for fire alarms.
This section is broken into parts with roman numerals. I highlighted the roman numerals at the beginning of each section.
I found the part about Optical Wire and highlighted that.
Annex C Table C1 got tabbed also for EMT Conduit Fill. Get familiar with fill rates.
Tabbed 300.21 and highlighted it and 300.22 highlighted . Same page. Read them.
What Made the Nicet I Easy
What it really comes down to is the lessons I took. They were weird at first because it just did not seem like it would work and I was very skeptical. After two failed attempts to pass the test, I had to give it a try. I never knew what it was I was supposed to study. I mean, how can you study a book with no story line? Just a bunch of codes?
The course gave me examples and an understanding of how the codes came about.
Nicet I is very hard if you are not good at taking tests and you do not know all the fields of the fire alarm industry.You have to know some of the design process; you have to know some of the inspection process; you have to know some of the installation process and you have to know some of OSHA codes. But, all of that can be taken care of if you take the right course.
Oh…those books you get from Amazon that are like $50 – $75 – complete garbage. When I took the Nicet Level II training, I bought the most recommended book there. It was full of typos and some of the answers were wrong and completely unrelated to the questions. The Nicet I Fire Alarm book is just 30 questions max and none of that was related to studying for the Nicet I Fire Alarm test. If I studied those sections and topics alone, I would have failed.
Here’s a good place to practice. Try looking the answers up for fire alarm. Even if you know the answers, locate the answers in your reference material for practice. Looking the answers, gets you familiar with sections. Getting familiar with what code is where, is how you pass the nicet 1 and 2 tests.